DAS recently awarded funding to serve individuals and groups in the State who are at an increased risk for substance abuse addiction relative to the general population, but who, because of the unique nature of their situation or circumstances, had not been identified through the county-based prevention planning process.
Services to Special Populations
1. Prevention Services for families of military personnel who are living or stationed in New JerseyChildren in military families are often subject to stressful conditions stemming from difficult transitions. The frequent moving characteristic of military life disrupts children’s school and social lives while a parent’s deployment disrupts family life. In addition to the direct effects of these events, children are affected by their parents’ circumstances and ability to cope. The various stressors that arise from these transitions increase children’s risk for emotional distress, substance abuse, and other risky behavior. In addition, a culture favorable to alcohol use and abuse puts children in military families and communities at increased risk for underage drinking. While children of service members are resilient, the stressors they face call for a variety of supports for them, their parents, and their communities.
DAS awarded funding to the New Jersey Prevention Network to serve military families by providing prevention education, addressing military community risk levels, striving to mitigate the risk factors, and enhancing the protective factors to support military members and their families in making responsible parenting and individual choices in regards to drug and alcohol use.
2. Services to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning youthThe odds of substance use for gay, lesbian bisexual, transgendered and questioning (GLBTQ) youth are on average 190 percent higher than for heterosexual youth, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh researchers published in the March 2008 issue of Addiction. What's more, for some sub-populations of GLBTQ youth, the odds were substantially higher, including 340 percent for bisexual youth and 400 percent for lesbians, researchers found.
DAS awarded funding to the North Jersey Community Research Initiative to expand their existing programs for high-risk GLBTQ youth of color by using a prevention model developed by the Centers for Disease Control, early intervention services, social marketing, and structured recreational activities.
3. Programming to assure the delivery of culturally and linguistically-competent prevention services in New JerseyCultural competence refers to a system of policies, skills and attitudes that eliminates service and participation disparities for people of diverse racial, ethnic, and linguistic populations, as well as consideration of gender, disabilities, and sexual orientation.
To ensure access to quality services by diverse populations, DAS awarded funding to PROCEED to develop new and/or enhance existing systems for assuring the provision of culturally and linguistically competent prevention services among DAS-funded providers throughout New Jersey. Training and technical assistance services are individualized for each prevention provider and based upon the results of an extensive assessment of the provider’s needs and capacity.